Omnium Gatherum: 4may2022

An irregular hodgepodge of links curated together from @OmniumGatherum at Hrmtc I∴O∴ … Omnium Gatherum for May 4, 2022.

Not only is the the first OG of the month, so welcome all Patrons! But, this is the first OG under the new regime away from the old email list. So, this curated OG will only appear on the blog.

However, what’s also new is that the raw feed of all the links that I find, from which I curate this post, is now publicly available on the @OmniumGatherum account at Hrmtc I∴O∴. That also means that you can interact with the things I post, with likes and boosts, to help curate what you find interesting for everyone else. Furthermore, if you want to share that you’ve found just tag @OmniumGatherum in a post to your own feed from an account somewhere in the ‘verse.

With that said, I’m going to kind of shuffle things up a bit in the actual curated list. I’m going to start focusing on items that are timely, esoteric, and book related. I’ll add other things from science, tech, politics, culture, and so on if they get likes and boosts. And, I’ll try to also throw in some other random stuff for funsies at the end, like usual. That means this curated list will be shorter than it has been before, at least until, and unless, there’s people who are participating in the curation by giving things likes and boosts so I add them to these.

Please do consider creating an account somewhere in the ‘verse to remotely follow and interact with @[email protected] along with all the rest at Hrmtc I∴O∴.

Also, for everyone joining us in a year, when this post becomes open to the public, it’s probably not too late to join in the fun, unless something has gone horribly awry over the intervening months, which, let’s face it, is not out of the question. Either way, hello to the future! Hope things worked out for us, and we’re all safe and happy, not to mention even still around, when you read this!

However you got here, or when, let me know what you think about these changes after you’ve gotten a feel for them!

Here’s a selection of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Crowdfunding with 25 hours to go: “The Hanabi-shi Oracle. An oracle deck created entirely of images from public domain Japanese fireworks catalogues from the 1880s.”
  • Crowdfunding with 32 hours to go: “TOKYO : OTHERSCAPE – A Mythic Cyberpunk RPG. A tag-based cyberpunk-fantasy roleplaying game in a megacity of tech and myth, powered by City of Mist.”—”Inspired by … masterpieces like Ghost In The Shell & Akira, :Otherscape [is[ a rollercoaster ride of gunfights, vehicle chases, cyberspace & urban-scape exploration, clashes of mythology & technology, faction wars, & philosophical questions about the nature of being human — & how to transcend it.”
  • Crowdfunding with 22 days to go: “BLADE RUNNER – The Roleplaying Game. Walk the neon-noir streets of Los Angeles 2037 in the official BLADE RUNNER RPG from Free League Publishing and Alcon Entertainment.” Watch “BLADE RUNNER RPG Kickstarter Trailer—”Art: Martin Grip. Music: Simon Stålenhag.”
  • Zoë Keating is starting on the road again. Via email: “It’s a confusing time. The state of live music is still shaky but so far (knock on wood cross my toes spin three times while touching my nose) it looks like I will have more performances this year than I had last year.”
  • Online Mystery School Class Registrations Opened May 2nd“—”Registration for the 2022-2023 Temple Mystery School Courses is now open! The Temple offers four years of guided personal study in the Temple Tradition of Witchcraft, available through online year-long courses through our school. We are now taking applications for levels one through four online, and offer one year four in-person (COVID health conditions permitting) in Salem, NH taught by Temple co-founder Christopher Penczak. This year, our online level one class will have an optional live Zoom component for the first time ever. Classes run from September 2022 to August 2023, with an audio lecture, supplemental material and monthly assignments. For those who prefer to learn at their own pace, we have a brand new class, The Pillars of the Witches’ Temple, a 20-lesson self-paced online course with no monthly homework required.”
  • Events at Treadwell’s through June.
  • Queens of the Wild: Pagan Goddesses in Christian Europe: An Investigation [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Ronald Hutton—”A concise history of the goddess-like figures who evade both Christian and pagan traditions, from the medieval period to the present day. In this riveting account, renowned scholar Ronald Hutton explores the history of deity-like figures in Christian Europe. Drawing on anthropology, archaeology, literature, and history, Hutton shows how hags, witches, the fairy queen, and the Green Man all came to be, and how they changed over the centuries. Looking closely at four main figures—Mother Earth, the Fairy Queen, the Mistress of the Night, and the Old Woman of Gaelic tradition—Hutton challenges decades of debate around the female figures who have long been thought versions of pre-Christian goddesses. He makes the compelling case that these goddess figures found in the European imagination did not descend from the pre-Christian ancient world, yet have nothing Christian about them. It was in fact nineteenth-century scholars who attempted to establish the narrative of pagan survival that persists today.”
  • Point: “Storm Faerywolf Hates James McAvoy: A Discordian Review of The Satyr’s Kiss.” Counterpoint: tweet—”I hadn’t realized not including James McAvoy & Luke Evans in my book about queer men and witchcraft would be considered a snub, but looking back I can see why they might feel hurt. So to James and Luke, my apologies.” About The Satyr’s Kiss: Queer Men, Sex Magic & Modern Witchcraft [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Storm Faerywolf, foreword Christopher Penczak—”Spells, Rituals, and Exercises that Celebrate Queer Sexuality and Identity. Satisfy the passion in your soul with a queer-centered exploration of magical philosophy, history, rites of passage, and sex magic. This practical guide empowers everyone who identifies as male to take his rightful place at the center of his own universe, honoring the unique qualities that set him apart from the mainstream. Emphasizing the importance of sexuality in Witchcraft, this book features a variety of methods for celebrating sex in a magical way. Sharing an abundance of spells and rituals, Storm Faerywolf helps you improve everything from communication and confidence to romance and sexual protection. This book also provides exercises related to initiation, gender polarity, sex with spirits, celebrating pride, and more. The Satyr’s Kiss shows you what it means to live fully in your unique, queer, and magical spirit.”
  • Pre-order for regular and deluxe editions of Psychopathia Sexualis by Austin Osman Spare, preface by Rebecca Fasman, introduction by Ryan M. Pfeiffer with Rebecca Walz, essays from Jeremy Biles, Elijah Burgher and Robert Shehu-Ansell, limited to one copy per customer—duplicated orders will be refunded! Shipping 31 August 2022. Pre-order for deluxe edition already over! But here’s the hardcover, shipping late May 2022.
  • Nine Defenses Against the Basilisk by Clint Marsh and Alexis Berger—”Black & White Magic for Surviving Extreme Anxiety. A Fiddler’s Green Leaflet by Clint Marsh & Alexis Berger. 12 pages, 12 illustrations, and copper foil leaf logo on the cover. In antiquity the wild places of the world were menaced by the dreaded “king of all reptiles,” the basilisk, a creature so vile that it could turn brave heroes to stone with a mere look. Today we face the basilisk every time we are gripped with anxiety so strong it stops us in our tracks. Through a look at nine time-honored defenses against the basilisk, this booklet will help you find the best ways to fend off this perilous monster’s petrifying gaze.”
  • Limerence for Lost Souls [Amazon] by Jenny Butler, illo Ollie Gill—”Limerence for Lost Souls is Jenny Butler’s first published short story collection. In this anthology, there are some stories with themes of magic, myth, and mystery, others which are set in the dark underbelly of contemporary life, dealing with murder, addiction and spiritual crises.”
  • Naming the God [Amazon, Publisher, Local Library] by Trevor Greenfield—”Naming the God is a companion volume to the landmark anthology Naming the Goddess. It presents a series of critical essays discussing many of the aspects of male deity and offers a spiritual gazetteer of over fifty gods.”
  • Crowdfunding: “A Gothic Cookbook. By Ella Buchan and Alessandra Pino, with illustrations by Lee Henry. A feast for the senses: an illustrated cookbook inspired by classic and contemporary Gothic texts.”
  • FIRST LOOK AT HUMANOIDS’ NEW ‘INCAL’ STORIES. Leads into Launch of Three Graphic Novels in Jodorowsky’s World.” About The Incal: Psychoverse [Amazon, Publisher] by Russel & Paquette, due Nov ’22, with others forthcoming—”Prepare to enter…the Psychovesre! In a shocking and explosive prequel to the legendary and best-selling saga, The Incal which is soon to be a major motion picture from Academy Award-winning director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, JoJo Rabbit). The world of the Incal, the Matterverse, is full of strange technology, astonishing worlds, and extraordinary creations. But where do these things come from? Why, the Psychoverse, of course–a reality of infinite possibility where everything that can be exists…that is, until it is dreamed up in the Matterverse, at which point it is then pulled from one reality into the other. Tired of having their wondrous creations stolen by the Matterverse, agents of the Psychoverse breach the barrier between realities to reclaim their stolen property by force, which means the destruction and reclamation of nearly the entire universe! It is up to John DiFool, the Metabaron, Kill Wolfhead, and more to stop the destruction of their entire reality! If only any of them knew the most powerful, primordial forces in either universe was sitting just within their grasp…the Luminous Incal!”
  • Pablo Neruda’s question poems, now translated and illustrated for children.” About Book of Questions [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Pablo Neruda, illo Paloma Valdivia, trans Sara Lissa Paulson
  • How a Debut Graphic Memoir Became the Most Banned Book in the Country. Maia Kobabe’s book “Gender Queer,” about coming out as nonbinary, landed the author at the center of a battle over which books belong in schools, and who gets to make that decision.” About Gender Queer: A Memoir [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Maia Kobabe—”” Also deluxe edition.
  • Shedding Light in the Darkness of Our Historical Imaginations.” About The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Matthew Gabriele and David M Perry—”A lively and magisterial popular history that refutes common misperceptions of the European Middle Ages, showing the beauty and communion that flourished alongside the dark brutality—a brilliant reflection of humanity itself. The word ‘medieval’ conjures images of the ‘Dark Ages’—centuries of ignorance, superstition, stasis, savagery, and poor hygiene. But the myth of darkness obscures the truth; this was a remarkable period in human history. The Bright Ages recasts the European Middle Ages for what it was, capturing this 1,000-year era in all its complexity and fundamental humanity, bringing to light both its beauty and its horrors. The Bright Ages takes us through ten centuries and crisscrosses Europe and the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa, revisiting familiar people and events with new light cast upon them. We look with fresh eyes on the Fall of Rome, Charlemagne, the Vikings, the Crusades, and the Black Death, but also to the multi-religious experience of Iberia, the rise of Byzantium, and the genius of Hildegard and the power of queens. We begin under a blanket of golden stars constructed by an empress with Germanic, Roman, Spanish, Byzantine, and Christian bloodlines and end nearly 1,000 years later with the poet Dante—inspired by that same twinkling celestial canopy—writing an epic saga of heaven and hell that endures as a masterpiece of literature today. The Bright Ages reminds us just how permeable our manmade borders have always been and of what possible worlds the past has always made available to us. The Middle Ages may have been a world “lit only by fire” but it was one whose torches illuminated the magnificent rose windows of cathedrals, even as they stoked the pyres of accused heretics. The Bright Ages contains an 8-page color insert.” Counterpoint: #BrightAgesSoWhite. Tweet—”Read this thread ⬆️ & ⬇️for a sense of how racism works in medieval studies.” Tweet—”LARB solicited a piece from me slated to appear in June. I asked that LARB reaffirm its commitment to anti-racism since what has happened with @ISASaxonists, otherwise I’m not comfortable pursuing publication with them. This is the response I got.”
  • Echo [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Amit Pinchevski, part of The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series—”An exploration of echo not as simple repetition but as an agent of creative possibilities. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Amit Pinchevski proposes that echo is not simple repetition and the reproduction of sameness but an agent of change and a source of creation and creativity. Pinchevski views echo as a medium, connecting and mediating across and between disparate domains. He reminds us that the mythological Echo, sentenced by Juno to repeat the last words of others, found a way to make repetition expressive. So too does echo introduce variation into sameness, mediating between self and other, inside and outside, known and unknown, near and far. Echo has the potential to bring back something unexpected, either more or less than what was sent. Pinchevski distinguishes echo from the closely related but sometimes conflated reflection, reverberation, and resonance; considers echolalia as an active, reactive, and creative vocalic force, the launching pad of speech; and explores echo as a rhetorical device, steering between appropriation and response while always maintaining relation. He examines the trope of echo chamber and both destructive and constructive echoing; describes various echo techniques and how echo can serve practical purposes from echolocation in bats and submarines to architecture and sound recording; explores echo as a link to the past, both literally and metaphorically; and considers echo as medium using Marshall McLuhan’s tetrad.”
  • The Infernal Masque by Richard Gavin—”From the author of The Benighted Path comes this long-awaited new book that delves further into the nocturnal art. The Infernal Masque explores the vital interplay between primordial darkness and infernal fire. It is the dynamic tension between these two elements that creates the sublime frisson within the flesh and soul of the Initiate, immersing them in the ecstatic tempest of daemonic reality. So awakened, one may consult the legions of the Dead, commune with spirits and eventually participate in the grand danse macabre that is the Infernal Masque itself.”
  • Collected Prefaces: Nicholas Hagger’s Prefaces to 55 of His Literary and Universalist Works [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Nicholas Hagger—”Nicholas Hagger’s 55 books include innovatory works on literature, history, philosophy and international politics. In his first published literary work he revived the Preface, which had fallen into disuse after Wordsworth and Shelley. He went on to write Prefaces (sometimes called ‘Prologues’, ‘Introductions’ or ‘Introductory Notes’) for all his subsequent books. Collected Prefaces, a collection of 55 Prefaces (excluding the Preface to this book), sets out his thinking and the reader can follow the development of his philosophy of Universalism (of which he is the main exponent), his literary approach (particularly his combination of Romanticism and Classicism which he calls “neo-Baroque”) and his metaphysical thinking. His Prefaces can be read as essays, and as in T.S. Eliot’s Selected Essays there is an interaction between adjacent Prefaces that brings an entirely new perspective to Hagger’s works. These Prefaces cover an enormous range. Nicholas Hagger is a Renaissance man at home in many disciplines. His Universalism focuses on humankind’s relationship to the whole universe as reflected in seven key disciplines seen as wholes: the whole of literature, history, philosophy and the sciences, mysticism, religion, international politics and statecraft and world culture. Behind all the Prefaces is Hagger’s fundamental perception of the unity of the universe as the One and of humankind’s position in it. These Prefaces complement his Selected Letters, a companion volume also published by O-Books, and contain startling insights that illumine and send readers to the works the Prefaces introduce.”
  • I’m An Author And A Trans Woman. Here’s Why I Won’t Stop Telling Our Stories. ‘There are vanishingly few books by trans women even now.'” By Maya Deane, author of Wrath Goddess Sing: A Novel [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library], due June 2022—”Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles and the Inheritance trilogy. The gods wanted blood. She fought for love. Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance. But the gods—a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries—have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death. An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.”
  • ‘You Can’t Trust These Motherfuckers’: Why American Workers Need Unions. Kim Kelly, the author of a new history of organized labor, explains where the movement has been and where it’s going next.” About Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Kim Kelly—”A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly. Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era South. Jewish immigrant garment workers braving deadly conditions for a sliver of independence. Asian American fieldworkers rejecting government-sanctioned indentured servitude across the Pacific. Incarcerated workers advocating for basic human rights and fair wages. The queer Black labor leader who helped orchestrate America’s civil rights movement. These are only some of the working-class heroes who propelled American labor’s relentless push for fairness and equal protection under the law. The names and faces of countless silenced, misrepresented, or forgotten leaders have been erased by time as a privileged few decide which stories get cut from the final copy: those of women, people of color, LGBTQIA people, disabled people, sex workers, prisoners, and the poor. In this assiduously researched work of journalism, Teen Vogue columnist and independent labor reporter Kim Kelly excavates that history and shows how the rights the American worker has today—the forty-hour workweek, workplace-safety standards, restrictions on child labor, protection from harassment and discrimination on the job—were earned with literal blood, sweat, and tears. Fight Like Hell comes at a time of economic reckoning in America. From Amazon’s warehouses to Starbucks cafes, Appalachian coal mines to the sex workers of Portland’s Stripper Strike, interest in organized labor is at a fever pitch not seen since the early 1960s. Inspirational, intersectional, and full of crucial lessons from the past, Fight Like Hell shows what is possible when the working class demands the dignity it has always deserved.”
  • The Irrevocable Step. John Brown and the historical novel.”
  • Rare medieval manuscripts digitised for first time. Rare manuscripts dating back as early as the 9th Century have been shared online for the first time.”
  • A Shakespearean Study Guide for The Northman“—”The Northman isn’t an adaptation of Hamlet. The film is an adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s sources, a story told in the medieval historian Saxo Grammaticus’s History of the Danes. The Northman overleaps Hamlet.”
  • A Guide to Reading Karl Marx for the First Time. Although it’s been sitting on your shelf for years, your paperback copy of Capital has a tellingly uncreased spine. It’s time to change that — here’s a guide to how.”
  • “There is in each of us a barbarian tribe, extremely overbearing and intractable — I mean the temper and the insatiate desires, which stand opposed to the rational elements as the Scythians and Germans do to the Romans.”—Themistius, Orations 10.131c (tr. David Moncur) via “Inner Barbarian“.
  • Rare ‘Wicked’ bible that encourages adultery discovered in New Zealand. First copy of the 1631 bible, which mistakenly reads ‘thou shalt commit adultery’, to be found in the southern hemisphere.”
  • Game of Thrones Author Says Winds of Winter Could Be Longest Book Yet. George R.R. Martin takes to his ‘not a blog’ to give yet another update on The Winds of Winter, saying the sixth book in ASOIAF will be the biggest.”
  • ‘Grandfather of Goth’: fans campaign for US stamp honoring Edward Gorey. Gorey’s ‘sinister whimsy’ has influenced other oddball creatives including Lemony Snicket and Tim Burton.”
  • These green books are poisonous—and one may be on a shelf near you. A toxic green pigment was once used to color everything from fake flowers to book covers. Now a museum conservator is working to track down the noxious volumes.”
  • A Tiny Brontë Book, Sold for $1.25 Million, to Return Home. A miniature book by the 13-year-old Charlotte Brontë, containing perhaps her last unseen poems, has been purchased by a charity and will be donated to the Brontë Parsonage Museum.”
  • Frank Miller launches his own independent publishing company. The label will debut with new Sin City and Ronin comics.”
  • More than half of states have banned books as anti-LGBTQ and anti-race education laws spread. School districts in 26 states have banned more than 1,000 books in the past nine months.”
  • New Experiment Could Confirm the Fifth Element. A University of Portsmouth physicist has designed an experiment – which if proved correct – means he will have discovered that information is the fifth form of matter.”
  • New and surprising duality found in theoretical particle physics“—”The duality exists between two types of scattering processes that can occur in the proton collisions made in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland and France. The fact that this connection can, surprisingly, be made points to the fact that there is something in the intricate details of the standard model of particle physics that is not fully understood.”
  • Thread—”OMG it literally took someone SWIMMING FROM HAWAII TO CALIFORNIA to discover this, but wow did we find something shocking in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch… [a thread ?]…” “BAM. They reached the boundary of the patch and there they were. Plastic yes, but also LIFE. Life living out there totally SEPARATE from plastic! Blue floating life, called ‘neuston,’ that’s been in the pacific for millions of years.”
  • Missed it by this much: Amazon Kindles finally support the ebooks everyone else sells, sort of. The Kindle has managed to avoid ePub support for 15 years.”—”Amazon isn’t going to natively support the ePub format. Instead, per an update to Send to Kindle documentation, the Amazon Kindle will soon support using the Send to Kindle function to convert ePub files into an Amazon-specific digital book file format.”
  • Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows. ‘We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,’ Justice Alito writes in an initial majority draft circulated inside the court.” Tweet—”Seeing lots of conservatives bewailing the leak as endangering the function and legitimacy of the court. Understandable, in the abstract. But the Court they have created lacks legitimacy and is in fact deeply corrupt. So there’s no real basis for complaint.” Also “Donate to an Abortion Fund Right NowTweet—”If you’re gay and married, draft up a simple durable power of attorney for you and your spouse. It’s vital to have another document that confers these rights and responsibilities right now.” Tweet—”These decisions by the Supreme Court are not being made in the anticipation they’ll stop ALL abortion or birth control… they’re being done assuming those with money will be able to circumvent these rulings by travel. They’re meant to stop POOR people having these rights.” Tweet—”It is all vulnerable. Griswold too. This is a sexual counter-revolution.” Thread—”First: Abortion is still legal. The language in the draft opinion leaked from the Supreme Court is outrageous, irresponsible and shocking. Any Justice who signs onto this opinion is fueling the harm and violence that will happen to people who become pregnant in this country.” Thread—”I have typed and deleted a great many comments. What do you say when nine people can dictate what happens to your body? It’s ridiculous and hateful. The court clearly wants to deepen the political crisis in this country and women will pay the price.” Tweet—”America, where a woman’s right to choose is murder but a diabetic dying because they can’t afford insulin is freedom, where you can buy a semi-automatic in a supermarket but have to go to a back street for an abortion.” Also “The Jewish Case for Abortion Rights | Opinion“—”As we consider the future of abortion access in this country, it may be helpful to note that abortion access is not only a 14th Amendment issue, as the Supreme Court itself ruled with Roe v. Wade in 1973, but a 1st Amendment issue, in light of the fact that pregnancy termination is not only permitted by Judaism, but, at times required.”
  • Thread—”Don’t you dare make Islamophobic analogies to the Roe news. This SCOTUS draft is homegrown Christian nationalism, with all the markings of American history at its worst. Look at the people in that majority. Grapple with that. Thread with more below.”
  • Thread—”Fine, here’s what I think is going on: White men have long been a minority in US society (currently 29%), but until very recently, they controlled all the ladders of ascent into cultural, political, media, or economic relevance.”
  • Artist uses AI to perfectly fake 70s science fiction pulp covers – artwork and titles“—”It’s algorithmic, generative 70s sci-fi pulp, courtesy OpenAI. Artist Lewis tells us about how it was done. Meanwhile, see how many friends will pretend to have heard of Neytiri A. Quaritch’s pioneering tome, Green Glass is the Color of the Wind.”

This post was possible because of support from generous ongoing Patrons. Patrons get access to Omnium Gatherum immediately. On the blog, this will be exclusive to Patrons for one year, after which I’ll make it publicly available to everyone so they can see what they’ve been missing.